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  • Probation department replacing 3,000 ankle bracelets for criminals

    WCVB TV - 07/08/2016

    The move by the probation department comes as the electronic monitoring program continues to lose track of hundreds of people each month, people whom it is supposed to be watching.

    “I call these modern-day ball and chains with a major defect,” said a woman on probation. The woman agreed to talk with 5 Investigates about problems with her ankle bracelet if her identity is protected.

    “It had a weak signal to it and it kept going in and out and I received phone calls from the company where I had to go outside (to try to get the signal back),” said the woman. “If I didn’t go out there, they’d send the police because it looks as though you’re tampering with it.”

    “Do you worry that you could get arrested and not be doing anything wrong?” asked investigative reporter Mike Beaudet.

    “Yes, oh, most definitely. Most definitely,” she replied.

    The Northeastern University School of Journalism documented the extent of the problems last year, showing that hundreds of arrest warrants are issued every month for people on probation when the signal to their electronic monitoring devices is lost.

    The public is left with a false sense of security, while police are arresting some accused and convicted criminals, even though they are at home, right where they are supposed to be.

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